State, local leaders react swiftly to Gov. Cuomo resignation
Reaction to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation has been swift. Here are just some of the statements that have been released by state and local leaders.
Comments from Sen. James Skoufis:
"This guy went from the most popular politician in America at the height of COVID and now he's resigned in disgrace."
"I think it's apropos that we're about to have the first female governor in history of New York, and as far as I can tell Kathy Hochul will govern in an exact opposite sort of manner that the iron fisted Andrew Cuomo has governed for the past 11 years."
Comments from Assemblyman Kieran Lalor:
"I'm surprised. I didn't think Gov. Cuomo had it in him to resign, so I give him credit for that."
"I think Washington, D.C. is a dewy meadow compared to the Albany swamp...So the last two governors of this state, going back 12 years, have had to leave in shame and in scandal. And that says something terrible. It's terrible for our state."
Comments from Assemblyman Mike Lawler:
"I didn't know it was happening. I was actually in a Housing committee meeting in New York City with a bunch of my Assembly colleagues. And so we broke out in bipartisan applause."
"We're dealing with a rise in COVID cases. Children going back to school next month. We need to be able to move forward and we can't be distracted by a governor who is under multiple criminal and civil investigations."
Comments from Sen. Sue Serino:
"Everybody was shocked...Whether you loved or hated the guy, I think it's really a somber day in New York...We have to work on rebuilding New York right now. That's got to be our forefront."
"We need to change the culture in Albany. That's really what it boils down to."
Statement from Rob Astorino:
“Good riddance. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy is 11 years of corruption and decline. The Albany insiders from both parties ignored the former and everyday New Yorkers suffered the latter. Dead last among states in every positive category, under Cuomo we only led in highest taxes, government corruption and people fleeing the state. Well over one million New Yorkers fled to other states since he took office. The last three Governors - Spitzer, Paterson and now Cuomo, all departed office under a cloud of scandal and it will happen again if we put someone in the office who is stained by Albany and Cuomo corruption. I’ve long said, Albany’s corruption preceded Cuomo and it will survive him unless we change course. That’s why I was always running for governor regardless of who my opponent will be.”
Statement from Assemblyman Colin Schmitt:
“Today, Governor Cuomo’s resignation provides a small measure of justice for the victims of Governor Cuomo’s documented sexual harassment and assault, as well as those who lost their lives as a result of his decision to order nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients. Hopefully, the brave young women who stepped forward to put an end to his abusive conduct may now begin the healing process.
“While the Governor’s announcement closes a dark chapter in our state’s history, steps must be taken to ensure there is accountability to New York residents and taxpayers. As a member of the State Assembly, I will continue working to restore the public’s trust in state government.
“In two weeks, Lt. Governor Hochul will take office and New York will have its first female governor. In times like these, we must seek to find ways to work with one another, regardless of political affiliation and I wish her the best in her new upcoming role as our state's top executive.”
Statement from White Plains Mayor Tom Roach:
"The conduct of the Governor as detailed in the Attorney General’s report has no place in our society, much less at the highest level of government in New York State. His resignation represents an affirmation of the women who bravely spoke up and called out the Governor’s behavior.
I have worked with Lt. Governor Hochul throughout her tenure and have found her to be smart, dedicated, and tireless. She has traveled the length and breadth of New York, regularly meeting and talking firsthand with residents, business owners, and local government officials on issues of concern to us all. Our state will be in good hands under her leadership. "
Statement from Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson:
Governor Cuomo's announcement that he is stepping down is the right one for New York. He no longer has the trust necessary to govern effectively.
I have known Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul for many years and have full confidence in her ability to lead the state. I look forward to working with her.
Statement from Assembly Member Amy Paulin:
Governor Cuomo’s decision to resign is for the good of New York. Over the past decade, the work done by Governor Cuomo has in many ways improved the lives of New Yorkers, but the evidence has made it clear that he cannot continue in office. The Governor’s resignation is a necessary step that will allow the State government to function effectively, and it sets the precedent that sexual harassment will not be tolerated at any level.
This ends a sordid chapter in New York’s history, but I hope it opens a new one, in which people in positions of power finally understand that sexual harassment is not okay and has profound consequences. What Andrew Cuomo did to 11 women is still happening in our society. So if this resignation leads to more abusers thinking twice, and to more victims deciding to fight back, then New York will be the better for it.
I would like to thank the women who came forward and shared their stories. Their bravery will not be forgotten.
When she is sworn in, Kathy Hochul will be the first woman to hold the office of Governor of New York. She is capable and prepared to take the position, and I look forward to working with her office to help the people of this State.
Statement from Assemblyman Karl Brabenec:
“Today’s resignation by Gov. Cuomo marks the first step in the healing process for the stressful and chaotic period his time in office has been to New Yorkers everywhere,” said Brabenec. “This announcement came as a surprise, but I am glad Cuomo did the right thing and stepped down."
Statement from New York State Democratic Chairman Jay S. Jacobs:
"New York will finally have its first female Governor and we could not be in better hands. From assisting her mother run a transitional domestic violence shelter to helping make the property tax cap permanent, Kathy Hochul has always and relentlessly fought for the people of New York. Her experience at all levels of government – Town Board Member, County Clerk, Congresswoman, and Lieutenant Governor, makes her uniquely well-equipped to effectively govern the State at this time. I am confident that incoming Governor Hochul’s empathy, work ethic and authentic concern for the welfare of its citizens will make her an outstanding Governor for our State."
Statement from Speaker Carl Heastie:
This has been a tragic chapter in our state's history. Governor Cuomo's resignation is the right decision.The brave women who stepped forward were heard. Everyone deserves to work in a harassment free environment.I have spoken with Lieutenant Governor Hochul and I look forward to working with her.
Statement from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:
“First and foremost, I want to thank the incredibly courageous women who came forward and shared their stories. They are the true public servants here. New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”
Statement from Rockland County Executive Ed Day:
The announcement of Governor Cuomo’s resignation is extremely welcome and long overdue news. It has been clear for some time that the Governor’s abusive and inappropriate behavior is unacceptable and his continued presence in the Governor’s Mansion was an insult to the women he harassed and the people of New York.
I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as she serves out the remainder of this term and becomes the first woman to serve as Governor of New York. I am hopeful that this change in leadership will serve us well over the next year and a half and allow for real change in Albany so that employees across our state are treated with the respect that each and every one of us deserves.
Statement from Assemblyman Nader J. Sayegh:
Governor Andrew Cuomo did the right thing announcing he’ll step down, saying wasting energy on distractions like impeachment is the last thing State government should be doing. That’s the case I made last week when I said he should resign for the good of the State. Given the challenges we face, we cannot loose focus on the pressing challenges facing all New Yorkers. I look forward to working with New York’s first woman Governor, Kathy Hochul.
Statement from Sen. Alessandra Biaggi:
“Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally put New Yorkers first and announced his resignation.
I am forever grateful for the eleven women who risked everything to speak out about their experience of sexual misconduct. New York will be a better and safer place because of them. While further accountability is necessary, this moment reflects the hard work of survivors who have been striving for an end to workplace harassment for decades.
New York State can now move forward and address the needs of the people we were elected to serve. I look forward to working under Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul’s leadership. Let this next chapter for New York be one of integrity, optimism, and progress.”
Statement from Sen. Sue Serino:
“While the Governor’s resignation is a small step toward restoring integrity in the Capitol, there is immense work to be done to effectively restore public trust and ensure true justice and accountability for the victims of sexual harassment, and for all those who have been impacted by the Governor’s actions during the past 18 months—especially New York’s nursing home residents and their loved ones.
The culture in Albany needs to change, and it needs to change today. How someone who stood so tall in the eyes of so many at the start of the pandemic can fall so far is a clear example of what happens when extreme power goes unchecked. It has never been more important to bring balance back to Albany to ensure that our government is one that truly works for the people of New York State. That starts by ensuring this Governor has zero control over the transition process.
As we continue to work to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have incredible challenges still ahead of us, and I thank Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul for stepping up to take those challenges on. As the first female State Senator to serve the 41st Senate District, I am acutely aware of how historic this moment really is, and I look forward to working with soon-to-be Governor Hochul as we redouble our efforts to move our community, and our state, forward.”
“First, I want to commend the brave women who stepped forward and courageously told their stories. There is no place for sexual harassment, and today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo to resign was the right decision for the good of the people of New York. I have full confidence that Lt Governor Hochul will establish a professional and capable administration. I have spoken with Lt Governor Hochul and look forward to working together to help the people of New York.” - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer.
“Today closes a sad chapter for all of New York, but it’s an important step towards justice. I thank Governor Cuomo for his contributions to our state. The ascension of our Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul, will help New York enter a new day. We must continue to build on the progress already made and improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. I know our state is in good hands with Lieutenant Governor Hochul at the helm, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.” - New York Attorney General Letitia James.
“The Governor has done the right thing. New York is facing many challenges as we battle the ongoing impact of COVID-19. My team and I stand ready to assist incoming Governor Hochul as we move the state forward.” - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“I am relieved that Governor Cuomo has made the right decision to serve New Yorkers by stepping aside and allowing Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to complete the rest of his term. While there are certainly achievements that the Governor can be proud of, there’s no question that his decision to resign is in the best interests of our state at this time. This episode will hopefully teach a clear lesson to everyone in positions of power: employees must be treated with respect and dignity and sexual harassment will not be tolerated. I have full confidence in Kathy Hochul as she prepares to take office as Governor in 14 days.” - Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, (D-Rockland/Westchester).
ON INCOMING GOV. KATHY HOCHUL:
Statement from Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano:
“It is a historic day in our State’s history – we open a new chapter, welcoming New York’s first female Governor. I look forward to working with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul and building on the progress New York has made.
Governor Hochul is an experienced leader and should be well equipped to lead New York through the challenges that lay ahead, and working with her, we will champion the issues facing our communities.”